21 of Intas, 2719
The Lawn, Brunnhold
Oh Hulali grant me patience! Melody consciously tried to not stomp as she walked a bare step behind Eirik Maste. The tall youth had cloaked himself in silence ever since Professor Sonfield had called out the names of the students who would be partners for today's out-of-class assignment. She couldn't judge how common such methods of self-directed learning were at Brunnhold as opposed to the typical professor overseen classes. However she'd felt a frisson of excitement in the minutes before the names had been called out. Unfortunately, that excitement had been substantially dimmed afterwards.
She'd ruefully acknowledged the propensity of gods to enjoy jokes at the expense of hapless mortals, and dipped her hand in the bowl which held chits containing details of what their assignments would involve. "Fission : Cutting / Slicing Materials" She'd called out, her eyes on the Gioran as he stared out of the window. That had earned a scowl thrown her way, which Melody took to mean that fission wasn't one of the aspects of static conversation Eiric especially enjoyed. Or he just didn't like her. That was certainly highly probable as well.
However for now, she had to decide how, if at all, she planned to react to his petulant seeming outbursts. She had no desire to spout off advice, clearly she didn't quite have the knack for it. She supposed a retreat into Hoxian formality was called for for the time being... To re-act is to give up control over your actions. Her mind supplied in the calm, slightly hoarse voice of Ynan Ziev.
So when her study partner for the class finally broke his silence, if only to grumble at her, she was able to maintain some sense of perspective. She offered a few neutral sounds in response, and allowed Eirik to lead the way. Did he not like being forced into company the last time? She mused to herself.
"We'll head to the Lawn, first. We've got some 'Practical Application' to figure out, anyway"
Melody nodded, agreeably enough, "All right." The youth would likely know the appropriate place for experiments of this sort. She wished though that they hadn't needed to do theirs in the cold, but needs must. At least she was warm enough in her layers.
Melody considered herself used to, and even comfortable with silences, yet this one felt vaguely awkward. The two students were walking closely enough that Melody loosened her careful hold on her field. Any emotional overtones she picked up from the younger student's field would provide her with at least some inkling of his feelings.
If the field was any guide, his feelings had calmed down a lot by the time they made it to the field. Melody nodded again as Eirik summarised what they were supposed to be working on, practice and demonstration of at least one practical application of cutting and slicing aspect of static magic. Then ventured, "Mr Maste, is this a usual sort of assignment for Brunnhold? The students seemed surprised..."
Melody kept an ear on the answer even as she followed Eirik's example and took out her static grimoires. She hadn't practised a lot with fission, but she had had some practice. She wasn't sure what Eirik had in mind for them to try, he had taken the leader's role and she wasn't going to quibble about that! In any case a revision of the standard roster of fission spells was definitely merited. She selected the grimoire with the relevant section, dropping her bag next to Eirik's on the snowy ground.
Now that she paid attention to her partner paging through his grimoire, sometimes ranging ahead, then doubling back, she wondered if he needed help? Or was it another erroneous assumption? Would he even welcome such help? Wasn't 'helping' what had created friction in their last encounter? In the end the fact that this was a shared assignment, and that any success or failure on either of their part would be shared, convinced her. She was about ready to speak, but Eirik beat her to it.
"You got anything to add, mom?"
The 'mom' jibe stung, but she allowed that to fade into the back of her mind before replying, "Here, I think all the most common fission spells are written in this section." She extended the grimoire to him, open to the section mentioned. She hoped he'd not be stubborn and just accept the help, but she may be wrong and he might not actually need any? "If you could look through and pick a few that you think we should try first..."
She looked around the field. "We're meant to demonstrate a practical application of cutting or slicing magic.. Any ideas? We haven't brought any material along as such.." They were still near the edge of the field, and the low, moss covered stone wall was visible. It gave her a vague idea and rather uncharacteristically, she spoke on without bothering to examine it for flaws first. "A slicing spell variant that allows us to specify the size of the slices would be practical if we can carry that off.. something like creating set size stone blocks from a big boulder.. or equal sized squares from a sheet of metal etc.." She paused for a few seconds, staring off into space as she followed through on the constraints they were working in and the objective of the task they had been set. Then slowly she continued, evidently still thinking aloud, "Since the objective is to demonstrate a practical application, I think we can work with an easy to split material... So long as we show the process works well for one or two materials, with a few variants in shapes and sizes, like rectangular pieces vs triangular pieces.. I think.." She focused again on Eirik as she summed up her idea, " We can show the many practical applications via the written explanation part of the exercise.."
Melody's eyes sparkled with a certain joy in the challenge of the thing, but she recalled that this was to be a joint endeavour and courteously she asked her partner for his input. "Of course, if there are other ideas you have, we can look at those and then pick something we both can agree on?"